I think the word "family" gets thrown around loosely. Recently, I've seen how members in my own family have hurt each other. As a result, I have been hurt too by "family." I've seen "family" put their own morals above family. I had a family member who completely shut me out of her life. She refuses to speak to me and I don't know why. I've seen family espouse hate each and everyday. Their statuses, likes and comments on Facebook just scream hatred and ignorance.
Luckily, Murad and I live far away from both of our families, so little Joel isn't exposed to all of that, but it still hurts. What do we tell him about why he doesn't see or talk to those people? I dunno. It's hard to know how to do what's right especially when everyone is doing wrong.
Instead of focusing on that, I want to focus on the good I have in my life and what I get to share with Joely.
1. My parents instilled in Ryan and I a desire to do well for ourselves. Education was so important to them and not going to college wasn't an option. I realize there are many who are not that fortunate. My parents made sure we got good grades and had the resources to complete our school work. My parents worked hard so that we could go to college. I am thankful that Joel will be raised in a home in which both his parents have advanced degrees.
2. I'm thankful for the relationships Murad and I have with our siblings. I hope Joel will be close to his future siblings and that he looks to us to model that with our own siblings. I also hope that he has a good relationship with his sister Abby.
3. I'm thankful that Joel will be raised in a loving faithful, two-parent household. Joel won't ever have to worry about whether or not his parents love each other. I'm thankful he'll have us as models. I'm thankful that I can have a career and stay home with him.
4. I'm thankful that my parents and brother loved the friends I brought to our house. No matter who they were, my parents were accepting of them. As a result, we love everyone in our house. While I'm far from it, I try to be Christ-like in my interactions with others. I always want to offer help rather than hate.
5. I'm thankful for the relationship I have with Jesus. I'm thankful that my parents made sure that we were part of a community of faith. I'm thankful that one year ago, Murad and I vowed to do the same for Joel.
Those are the morals and values I hope to pass on to Joel. Education, Family, Friends and Faith.